first time he's seen that even the biggest pests also have an inner self and a heart,
and are transformed as soon as they're alone with you. For the first time in his life
he's given himself and his friendship to another person. He's never had a friend
before, boy or girl. Now we've found each other. I, for that matter, didn't know him
either, had never had someone I could confide in, and it's led to this . . .
The same question keeps nagging me: "Is it right?" Is it right for me to yield so soon,
for me to be so passionate, to be filled with as much passion and desire as Peter?
Can I, a girl, allow myself to go that far?
There's only one possible answer: "I'm longing so much. . . and have for such a long
time. I'm so lonely and now I've found comfort!"
In the mornings we act normally, in the afternoons too, except now and then. But in
the evenings the suppressed longing of the entire day, the happiness and the bliss of
all the times before come rushing to the surface, and all we can think about is each
other. Every night, after our last kiss, I feel like running away and never looking him
in the eyes again. Away, far away into the darkness and alone!
And what awaits me at the bottom of those fourteen stairs? Bright lights, questions
and laughter. I have to act normally and hope they don't notice anything.
My heart is still too tender to be able to recover so quickly from a shock like the one
I had last night. The gentle Anne makes infrequent appearances, and she's not about
to let herself be shoved out the door so soon after she's arrived. Peter's reached a
part of me that no one has ever reached before, except in my dream! He's taken hold
of me and turned me inside out. Doesn't everyone need a little quiet time to put
themselves to rights again? Oh, Peter, what have you done to me? What do you want
Where will this lead? Oh, now I understand Bep. Now, now that I'm going through it
myself, I understand her doubts; if I were older and he wanted to marry me, what
would my answer be? Anne, be honest! You wouldn't be able to marry him. But it's so
hard to let go. Peter still has too little character, too little willpower, too little
courage and strength. He's still a child, emotionally no older than I am; all he wants is
happiness and peace of mind. Am I really only fourteen? Am I really just a silly
schoolgirl? Am I really so inexperienced in everything? I have more experience than
most; I've experienced something almost no one my age ever has.
I'm afraid of myself, afraid my longing is making me yield too soon. How can it ever
go right with other boys later on? Oh, it's so hard, the eternal struggle between heart
and mind. There's a time and a place for both, but how can I be sure that I've chosen
the right time?
Yours, Anne M. Frank
TUESDAY, MAY 2, 1944
Saturday night I asked Peter whether he thinks I should tell Father about us. After
we'd discussed it, he said he thought I should. I was glad; it shows he's sensible, and
sensitive. As soon as I came downstairs, I went with Father to get some water. While
we were on the stairs, I said, "Father, I'm sure you've gathered that when Peter and I
are together, we don't exactly sit at opposite ends of the room. Do you think that's
Father paused before answering: "No, I don't think it's wrong. But Anne, when you're
living so close together, as we do, you have to be careful." He said some other words
to that effect, and then we went upstairs.
Sunday morning he called me to him and said, "Anne, I've been thinking about what
you said." (Oh, oh, I knew what was coming!) "Here in the Annex it's not such a
good idea. I thought you were just friends. Is Peter in love with you?"
"Of course not," I answered.
"Well, you know I understand both of you. But you must be the one to show restraint;
don't go upstairs so often, don't encourage him more than you can help. In matters
like these, it's always the man who takes the active role, and it's up to the woman to
set the limits. Outside, where you're free, things are quite different. You see other
boys and girls, you can go outdoors, take part in sports and all kinds of activities. But
here, if you're together too much and want to get away, you can't. You see each other
every hour of the day-all the time, in fact. Be careful, Anne, and don't take it too
"I don't, Father, but Peter's a decent boy, a nice boy."
"Yes, but he doesn't have much strength of character. He can easily be influenced to
do good, but also to do bad. I hope for his sake that he stays good, because he's
basically a good person."
We talked some more and agreed that Father would speak to him too.
Sunday afternoon when we were in the front attic, Peter asked, "Have you talked to
your Father yet, Anne?"
"Yes," I replied, "I'll tell you all about it. He doesn't think it's wrong, but he says that
here, where we're in such close quarters, it could lead to conflicts."
"We've already agreed not to quarrel, and I plan to keep my promise."
"Me too, Peter. But Father didn't think we were serious, he thought we were just
friends. Do you think we still can be?"
"Yes, I do. How about you?"
"Me too. I also told Father that I trust you. I do trust you, Peter, just as much as I
do Father. And I think you're worthy of my trust. You are, aren't you?"
"I hope so." (He was very shy, and blushing.)
"I believe in you, Peter," I continued. "I believe you have a good character and that
you'll get ahead in this world."
After that we talked about other things. Later I said, "If we ever get out of here, I
know you won't give me another thought."
He got all fired up. "That's not true, Anne. Oh no, I won't let you even think that
Just then somebody called us.
Father did talk to him, he told me Monday. "Your Father thought our friendship might
turn into love," he said. "But I told him we'd keep ourselves under control."
Father wants me to stop going upstairs so often, but I don't want to. Not just because
I like being with Peter, but because I've said I trust him. I do trust him, and I want
to prove it to him, but I'll never be able to if I stay downstairs out of distrust.
No, I'm going!
In the meantime, the Dussel drama has been resolved. Saturday evening at dinner he
apologized in beautiful Dutch. Mr. van Daan was immediately reconciled. Dussel must
have spent all day practicing his speech.
Sunday, his birthday, passed without incident. We gave him a bottle of good wine from
1919, the van Daans (who can now give their gift after all) presented him with a jar
of piccalilli and a package of razor blades, and Mr. Kugler gave him a jar of lemon
syrup (to make lemonade), Miep a book, Little Martin, and Bep a plant. He treated
everyone to an egg.
Yours, Anne M. Frank
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 1944
First the weekly news! We're having a vacation from politics. There's nothing, and I
mean absolutely nothing, to report. I'm also gradually starting to believe that the
invasion will come. After all, they can't let the Russians do all the dirty work;
actually, the Russians aren't doing anything at the moment either.
Mr. Kleiman comes to the office every morning now. He got a new set of springs for
Peter's divan, so Peter will have to get to work reupholstering it; Not surprisingly, he
isn't at all in the mood. Mr. Kleiman also brought some flea powder for the cats.
Have I told you that our Boche has disappeared? We haven't seen hide nor hair of her
since last Thursday. She's probably already in cat heaven, while some animal lover has
turned her into a tasty dish. Perhaps some girl who can afford it will be wearing a
cap made of Boche's fur. Peter is heartbroken.
For the last two weeks we've been eating lunch at eleven-thirty on Saturdays; in the
mornings we have to make do with a cup of hot cereal. Starting tomorrow it'll be like
this every day; that saves us a meal. Vegetables are still very hard to come by. This
afternoon we had rotten boiled lettuce. Ordinary lettuce, spinach and boiled let- tuce,
that's all there is. Add to that rotten potatoes, and you have a meal fit for a king!
I hadn't had my period for more than two months, but it finally started last Sunday.
Despite the mess and bother, I'm glad it hasn't deserted me.
As you can no doubt imagine, we often say in despair, "What's the point of the war?
Why, oh, why can't people live together peacefully? Why all this destruction?"
The question is understandable, but up to now no one has come up with a satisfactory
answer. Why is England manufacturing bigger and better airplanes and bombs and at
the same time churning out new houses for reconstruction? Why are millions spent on
the war each day, while not a penny is available for medical science, artists or the
poor? Why do people have to starve when mountains of food are rotting away in other
parts of the world? Oh, why are people so crazy?
I don't believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the
common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have re-
belled long ago! There's a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder and
kill. And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars
will continue to be waged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated
and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start allover again!
I've often been down in the dumps, but never desperate. I look upon our life in hiding
as an interesting adventure, full of danger and romance, and every privation as an
amusing addition to my diary. I've made up my mind to lead a different life from other
girls, and not to become an ordinary housewife later on. What I'm experiencing here is
a good beginning to an interesting life, and that's the reason -- the only reason --
why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous moments.
I'm young and have many hidden qualities; I'm young and strong and living through a
big adventure; I'm right in the middle of it and can't spend all day complaining because
it's impossible to have any fun! I'm blessed with many things: happiness, a cheerful
disposition and strength. Every day I feel myself maturing, I feel liberation drawing
near, I feel the beauty of nature and the goodness of the people around me. Every
day I think what a fascinating and amusing adventure this is! With all that, why should
Yours, Anne M. Frank
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 1944
Father's unhappy with me. After our talk on Sunday he thought I'd stop going upstairs
every evening. He won't have any of that "Knutscherej"* [* Necking] going on. I can't
stand that word. Talking about it was bad enough -- why does he have to make me
feel bad too! I'll have a word with him today. Margot gave me some good advice.
Here's more or less what I'd like to say:
I think you expect an explanation from me, Father, so I'll give you one. You're disap-
pointed in me, you expected more restraint from me, you no doubt want me to act the
way a fourteen-year-old is supposed to. But that's where you're wrong!
Since we've been here, from July 1942 until a few weeks ago, I haven't had an easy
time. If only you knew how much I used to cry at night, how unhappy and despondent
I was, how lonely I felt, you'd understand my wanting to go upstairs! I've now
reached the point where I don't need the support of Mother or anyone else. It didn't
happen overnight. I've struggled long and hard and shed many tears to become as
independent as I am now. You can laugh and refuse to believe me, but I don't care. I
know I'm an independent person, and I don't feel I need to account to you for my
actions. I'm only telling you this because I don't want you to think I'm doing things
behind your back. But there's only one person I'm accountable to, and that's me.
When I was having problems, everyone -- and that includes you -- closed their
eyes and ears and didn't help me. On the contrary, all I ever got were admonitions not
to be so noisy. I was noisy only to keep myself from being miserable all the time. I
was overconfident to keep from having to listen to the voice inside me. I've been
putting on an act for the last year and a half, day in, day out. I've never complained
or dropped my mask, nothing of the kind, and now. . . now the battle is over. I've
won! I'm independent, in both body and mind. I don't need a mother anymore, and I've
emerged from the struggle a stronger person.
Now that it's over, now that I know the battle has been won, I want to go my own
way, to follow
the path that seems right to me. Don't think of me as a
fourteen-year-old, since all these troubles have made me older; I won't regret my
actions, I'll behave the way I think I should!
Gentle persuasion won't keep me from going upstairs. You'll either have to forbid it, or
trust me through thick and thin. Whatever you do, just leave me alone!
Yours, Anne M. Frank
SATURDAY, MAY 6, 1944
Last night before dinner I tucked the letter I'd written into Father's pocket. According
to Margot, he read it and was upset for the rest of the evening. (I was upstairs doing
the dishes!) Poor Pim, I might have known what the effect of such an epistle would
be. He's so sensitive! I immediately told Peter not to ask any questions or say
anything more. Pim's said nothing else to me about the matter. Is he going to?
Everything here is more or less back to normal. We can hardly believe what Jan, Mr.
Kugler and Mr. Kleiman tell us about the prices and the people on the outside; half a
pound of tea costs 350.00 guilders, half a pound of coffee 80.00 guilders, a pound of
butter 35.00 guilders, one egg 1.45 guilders. People are paying 14.00 guilders an
ounce for Bulgarian tobacco! Everyone's trading on the black market; every errand boy
has something to offer. The delivery boy from the bakery has supplied us with darning
thread-90 cents for one measly skein-the milkman can get hold of ration books, an
undertaker delivers cheese. Break-ins, murders and thefts are daily occurrences. Even
the police and night watchmen are getting in on the act. Everyone wants to put food
in their stomachs, and since salaries have been frozen, people have had to resort to
swindling. The police have their hands full trying to track down the many girls of
fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and older who are reported missing every day.
I want to try to finish my story about Ellen, the fairy. Just for fun, I can give it to
Father on his birthday, together with all the copyrights.
See you later! (Actually, that's not the right phrase. In the German program broadcast
from England they always close with "Aufwiederhoren." So I guess I should say, "Until
we write again.")
Yours, Anne M. Frank
SUNDAY MORNING, MAY 7,1944
Father and I had a long talk yesterday afternoon. I cried my eyes out, and he cried
too. Do you know what he said to me, Kitty?
"I've received many letters in my lifetime, but none as hurtful as this. You, who have
had so much love from your parents. You, whose parents have always been ready to
help you, who have always defended you, no matter what. You talk of not having to
account to us for your actions! You feel you've been wronged and left to your own
devices. No, Anne, you've done us a great injustice!
"Perhaps you didn't mean it that way, but that's what you wrote. No, Anne, we have
done nothing to deserve such a reproach!"
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested